How do you read

8 Apr
By Darryl Ayo

For a long time, I’ve been what I now consider a poor comics reader. I’d read a comic through once and usually never read the entire work straight through again. I usually focused on some element or another that I found particularly interesting, whether the design of a specific page or the flow of a single sequence of pages or the presence of Captain America. For many years (and let’s be honest–presently as well), comics have been like a buffet for me. I’d sometimes come for one element, and revisit the work for another element–but for some reason, that microscope-vision prevented me from revisiting works as whole works.

As a result, I’ve become an expert on parts. Like a mechanic. However, I doubt that I need to tell you folks that comics are at their most ideal, far greater than the sum of their parts. Like a car or a clock, comics contain many moving, interdependent parts that need to operate harmoniously and should usually work under cover. Just like clockwork.

A big part of this for me is that I’m a very twitchy, impatient person. I have high anxiety and I’m only recently learning to unfold and be more  patient.  I think that a comic should be a thing that a person revisits over and over in its entirety like we commonly do with music or with movies. Although I’m sure we all hop to our favorite scenes on DVDs and skip ahead to our favorite songs on albums, I still feel that I–and other comic readers similar to me–give comics the shorter end of the deal by yards.

So instead of continually reading new comics (to find out what happens to Captain America from month to month), I’m going to fold back and re-read, without skimming or skipping around, some of my favorite comic stories and adventures for a while. I have loved comics for years, but I think it’s time that I advanced this relationship deeper. I want to have a closer relationship with my reading material.

(c) Marvel Entertainment.

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One Response to “How do you read”

  1. DeBT April 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    I don’t know if it means anything, but when I read American comics on the computer, I find it easier if I focus on one panel at a time, before scrolling down to the next row. That way, I can concentrate on the text, and not be too distracted by details from the surrounding panels, each of which is vying for attention.

    I don’t usually read old-school American comics, since I’m more of a fan of Manga, newspaper comics and other stuff that’s easier to “read” visually in comparision. I’m a little different from others, in that when I read a comic, I convert the words to pictures, and the pictures to sound. That way, I have a particular “noise” for every comic I’ve read, and can tell when something “sounds” familiar.

    I’m probably not making much sense, but just wanted to throw my two cents’ worth in.
    http://sundaycomicsdebt.blogspot.com/2010/04/you-dont-say.html

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